Electricity and gas bills are getting more and more expensive. The basis of this upward trend are the strong increases recorded in the prices of electricity and gas for end customers already in the second half of 2021. In addition, since the beginning of 2022, the prices of energy raw materials have reached record values, causing a “new sting on household and business bills”. Government interventions only mitigated the increases.
There are two ways to defend against the crisis in the energy sector. The first is to reduce the cost of energy by choosing the best offers of electricity and gas on the Free Market. The second, on the other hand, involves a reduction in consumption. This path can be followed by all families who have the opportunity to optimize their electricity and gas consumption. SOStariffe.it has identified some simple tips to put into practice to minimize electricity and gas consumption, eliminating waste and without making sacrifices.
Italian users reduce their consumption to reduce their bills
Many Italian families have already embarked on the path of reducing consumption as a defense tool against the crisis in the energy market and the rising costs of electricity and gas. According to data collected by the SOStariffe.it Observatory in February 2022, there has been on average a slight decrease in the consumption of electricity and gas by Italian families compared to October 2021, when the topic of increasing the bill began to become topical. The decrease is small (-1% for electricity and -4% for natural gas) but it is the confirmation of a trend that pushes Italian consumers towards a reduction in consumption and a careful use of energy .
Save money by reducing consumption with small daily tips
To reduce the consumption of electricity and gas, it is not simply necessary to give up using the energy necessary for daily life. With a few little tricks, in fact, it is possible to optimize the way appliances and heating systems are used and, with a view to next summer, the cooling of the house to reduce waste and, therefore, electricity and gas consumption. With simple daily gestures and a little attention, the bill will lighten without making sacrifices and sacrifices.
The importance of energy efficiency
The first element to consider is energy efficiency. This is a central parameter to achieve the objective of correct and optimized use of energy. Choosing high-efficiency solutions is key to avoiding waste and achieving the same results while consuming less energy. Focusing on efficiency means reducing consumption for the same use.
When buying a new household appliance, for example, the first element to be analyzed is its “energy efficiency class”, indicated on the special label that the manufacturer must affix to his appliance. This label indicates the energy class which represents an accurate indication of the appliance’s efficiency. Data are also provided on the annual energy consumption for average use, which may represent a parameter to be considered in the assessment of the impact on the bill.
Do not underestimate the consumption related to lighting
The choice of energy efficiency is also essential for the lighting system. By focusing on LED solutions, it is possible to reduce consumption up to 5 times compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. In addition, LED bulbs have a longer life cycle than other less efficient solutions. In addition to consumption, maintenance costs and times are therefore reduced. Avoiding leaving lights on unnecessarily is always valid advice for maintaining correct behavior aimed at containing waste.
The day before also affects invoices
Another detail to pay attention to in order to reduce consumption and, above all, waste, is represented by the standby function of household appliances. Leaving a device on standby for hours or days, without using it, can involve low electricity consumption which, repeated constantly over time and multiplied by the number of devices on standby, can have a significant impact on the invoice.
In a period where the cost of energy is exploding, the risk is to end up spending tens of euros more at the end of the year due to the consumption recorded by their devices on standby. On average, a standby device consumes about 50 kWh per year (with higher values for devices like the television or the stereo and much lower for the charger or the cordless telephone).
How to reduce the cost of heating on your gas bill for next winter
Even though the coldest months of the year are behind us, the issue of heating is still relevant and, with a view to the future, represents an important aspect in terms of saving and reducing consumption. Using your heating well is a necessary aspect of saving money. A few tips are enough to save money without having to give up heating the house.
- Reducing the “target temperature” to be reached at home by one degree allows savings of between 5% and 7% on annual gas consumption related to heating. Indeed, during the winter, it is not necessary to exceed a temperature of 16-20°C at home. Beyond this threshold, consumption will grow exponentially. It is also important to always carry out maintenance operations on the system (boiler and radiators) to maintain high efficiency and prevent the dispersion of heat to the outside.
- Relying on a thermostat with the timer it is possible to better manage the on and off times and adjust the heating to maximize efficiency and optimize consumption. By installing thermostatic valves, the heat from individual radiators can be adjusted, reducing the temperature (and gas consumption) in parts of the house that are not in use.
Summer is coming: measures to reduce the impact of the air conditioner on the bill
In view of summer (a time that will most likely be characterized by the cost of electricity at historic levels), it becomes essential to use cooling systems in the right way. To reduce the consumption of the air conditioner, it is necessary to set the correct temperature. It is important not to overdo it. The temperature difference between indoors and outdoors should not exceed 8-10 ° C.
Electricity consumption, beyond this difference, increases exponentially. It can also be useful to alternate the use of the air conditioner with a ceiling fan which consumes much less energy and guarantees good cooling. Small precautions when using the air conditioner can also make a difference in terms of consumption: only cool the rooms you are in, install the air conditioner in the right place, carry out periodic maintenance and clean the air filters.
In addition, using a timer it will be possible to program the ignition times and avoid wasting energy. In addition, when choosing an air conditioner, it is advisable to rely on energy-efficient appliances equipped with inverter technology in order to maximize its efficiency. By improving the thermal insulation of the house, it will be possible to prevent cold air from escaping to the outside.
Pay attention to energy consumption for hot water
Heating water involves considerable energy expenditure. The most effective solution is represented by the possibility of replacing the electric water heater with a gas water heater or, if possible, using a solar thermal system. To set the water temperature correctly, it is important to set the thermostat at 45°C during the summer and no more than 60° during the winter.
Taking a shower instead of a bath uses less water and even less energy (used to heat excess water). A 5-minute shower can halve the water and energy consumption needed to heat it. In addition, by avoiding running hot water unnecessarily, energy consumption can be further optimized. For large families, the energy consumption related to hot water increases and adopting good behavior is essential to optimize consumption.